Thomas Johnson coach Ben Wright has been named the Baltimore Ravens’ High School Coach of the Week for the eighth week of the 2010 NFL season.
Wright’s Patriots traveled to Linganore last Friday and snapped the defending Class 3A state champions’ 21-game winning streak with a 27-14 victory. It was the Patriots’ first triumph over their Frederick rivals since a first-round playoff win in 2007.
Assistant coach Charlie Baer, who commented on behalf of Wright on Monday, credited much of the team’s success to his head coach’s attention to detail.
“He’s just great at breaking down film and picking up tendencies,” Baer said of Wright. “He’s great at picking out a team’s strengths and weaknesses and creating a game plan for it.”
On Friday, it seemed as though the Patriots had planned for everything.
The team got off to a fast start after holding Linganore to a three-and-out on the opening drive. When senior Richard Newman blocked the ensuing punt, senior Tyler Schotte recovered the ball in the end zone to hand Thomas Johnson the early lead.
“It was huge,” Baer said. “Richard Newman sold out for the blocked punt, and it worked. That was just senior leadership right there.”
But the game proved to be an entire team effort. While the defense forced three turnovers, the offense, led by a stout rushing attack, kept the ball moving. Junior running back Brendan Berney ran for 72 yards and a touchdown, while junior running back Doug Sponyoe notched 41 yards rushing with two touchdowns.
Once sitting at 3-3, the 6-3 Patriots hope to continue their winning momentum into the Class 4A North Region playoffs.
“We’ve been preaching all along that we haven’t been playing to our potential,” Baer admitted. “But on offense, defense and special teams, it all came together.”
Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his athletes. Each recipient receives a $2,000 donation to the school’s football program, a certificate signed by Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh and a specially-designed Coach of the Week hat.
Each winner will be present at the Ravens vs. Saints home game on Dec. 19 for the naming of the Ravens’ High School Coach of the Year.
2010 Ravens High School Coach of the Week Recipients:
Week 1 Steve Turnbaugh Hereford
Week 2 Biff Poggi
Week 3 Howard Coaching Staff Howard
Week 4 Kyle Schmitt
Week 5 Ken Brinkman
Week 6 Steve Luette South Carroll
Week 7 Damon Bomar Forest Park
Week 8 Ben Wright Thomas Johnson